How does the process of building a website work?

Building your new website is a very exciting project, both for you and for me as the designer. Getting the word out about your new company or project can be a complex process though and it helps to make the process as transparent as possible from the outset. Below I try and go through the different steps involved to make things as clear as possible but if you have any questions you can always get in touch.
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1. WordPress

When building websites I work using the WordPress Content Management System. WordPress powers 26.4% of the Web and is without question the most popular website platform and is used by websites such as The New York Times, Wall Street Journal’s Speakeasy, People Magazine, National Geographic and Forbes. There are countless different themes giving your site infinite different looks and over 44,000 plugins available to WordPress, adding extra functionality to your website. Furthermore, WordPress is an extremely active community of developers and both the core WordPress platform and the plugins available for it are constantly being updated to maintain a secure and evolving platform.

2. What your website needs to achieve?

First of all, it is important to be clear about what your website is for. Do you want to set up an online shop, are you starting a new business and need to inform customers about the services you provide, is taking donations for a charity your aim or do you want to publish a blog? Often a website needs to incorporate several of these aspects but putting thought into what you want your website to achieve before going forward with the design process is vital.

3. How do you want to manage your site once its complete?

When your website is finished and live it will still need managing and updating. This updates I spoke about before will need implementing, new content will need adding as your project evolves or company grows, blog posts will need publishing and things may need editing from time to time, not to mention running regular backups in case something goes wrong down the line.

How these things are taken care of is a decision you need to make going into the project. Do you want to take full control of your website yourself, running updates, uploading and publishing new content and maintaining your site on a schedule that can range from daily to monthly? It can be a daunting but rewarding task and is worth considering.
Alternatively, you can take advantage of an ongoing maintenance package I offer where I can take care of some or all of these important tasks. I can run updates, backups and even optimise your WordPress site on a daily or weekly schedule as well as run backups while providing you with monthly reports about the actions taken. I can also be the one to publish new content to your site on your behalf if you want a truly hands-off approach to your site.

Knowing which of these options you want to use, I can build the site accordingly. After years of working with WordPress, I can take advantage of the platform in ways someone new to the process might be daunted by, if a fully managed site run by me is your aim, then I can build the site accordingly. If you wish to run the site yourself then I can tailor it to your level of knowledge and cut out a lot of the complexity.

Knowing which is necessary, in advance, is important and something you need to consider.

4. Quote

Many people are keen to get a firm idea of cost from the outset but before I can give you that firm idea I would need to get a clear picture of the work involved. The information about what you want your website to achieve along with some further questions will be what I base my quote on. Every website is unique and so is each quote.
Once I have given you a quote and it has been accepted, I will require a deposit before I begin work, the remainder of the quote will be payable after the website is complete, upon receipt of which I will send your site live.

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5. What I need from you

When I begin building your website there are several elements that I will require. Getting all these in place in advance will make things vastly simpler for you and me as well as cut down on revisions later on. Before we start I will need;
• Your Logo (Photoshop PSD, EPS, high-resolution PNG or JPG)
• Hosting Login (if you have a hosting account already)
• Current Website Login (if currently a WordPress site)
• Any new text for each page thoroughly checked for spelling/grammatical errors
• Images or any new pictures you’d like to use for the new site
• Any Multimedia files such as videos/audio that needs to be added to the site
• The brand style guide, colours or any special graphics being used

6. Dropbox Shared Folder

Using email to send files back and forth can take a lot of time, fill up inboxes in no time and get confusing as its hard to keep track of where files are. To combat this I find it is very helpful to set up a shared folder on Dropbox.
Dropbox, if you haven’t encountered it before is a free cloud storage platform which offers 2GB of storage for users, with premium plans available for those who require more storage. It allows users to set up shared folders which would allow us to share files and website elements. This makes it much simpler to keep things organised. When we begin the process of designing your website I will invite you to join a shared folder with a clear structure so you know what files to add to it.

7. Development Process

First of all, if you don’t have a website already, I will set up a holding page so people know you have a site coming soon. Once that is in place I will begin working on the new site in the background so the general public can’t see things while they take shape. I will be building a bespoke theme for use just by you basd around your needs.
The design and build process will take two initial stages,
STEP 1 – LAYOUT AND DESIGN
A large and time-consuming part of website design is in the layout, structure and design of the site. I’ll create the framework of the website and will send the homepage and a sub-page (or more upon request) for approval.
STEP 2 – DEVELOPMENT
Once the site layout and design are approved, I’ll move forward with the designing of all pages, functionality and responsive code, making sure your site looks great and functions nicely across all devices and web browsers.

8. Revisions and Edits

After I have designed and built your website and all the content is added you will be invited to look through every page from corner to corner, to go over it with a fine-tooth comb and request any edits you would like.
to avoid the revision process going on for an extended period of time and delaying the launch of your website to the public it is important to make sure that all requested edits are communicated together so I can work through the list, long or short efficiently.
Once I have made the requested edits the revision process will end and further edits or revisions will be charged for in addition to the original quote. While this may seem somewhat harsh it is to avoid me having to rebuild page after page. You may or may not be surprised to hear that without such a stipulation it is very common for a designer to effectively build a website 3 or 4 times over, quadrupling his or her work while only being paid to build one website. That is why I try and make it as clear as possible that all edits and revisions must be communicated together and I hope you understand why I have to be strict on this.

9 . Going Live

Here is the exciting bit! Your website has been completed, you have signed off on the process and things are ready to go live.
Wow, here we are, so what happens now?
Once the remainder of the design fee has been paid, any unnecessary plugins and pages will be removed from the site and a final backup will be made and saved locally in case if we ever need to restore the site.
Next, I will set you up a user account for the new website so you can access the admin side of the site and if you have chosen to, publish new content and apply updates.
Finally, I will remove the holding page and send your site live to the world.
And that’s it!

Questions

Of course, you are likely to still have some questions, I could write a whole novel on what to expect through this process and there will still be questions about how your particular project fits into the steps above so I incurage you to get in touch and we can discuss anything and everything and see if we are a good fit for working together.

1. WordPress

When building websites I work using the WordPress Content Management System. WordPress powers 26.4% of the Web and is without question the most popular website platform and is used by websites such as The New York Times, Wall Street Journal’s Speakeasy, People Magazine, National Geographic and Forbes. There are countless different themes giving your site infinite different looks and over 44,000 plugins available to WordPress, adding extra functionality to your website. Furthermore, WordPress is an extremely active community of developers and both the core WordPress platform and the plugins available for it are constantly being updated to maintain a secure and evolving platform.

2. What your website needs to achieve?

First of all, it is important to be clear about what your website is for. Do you want to set up an online shop, are you starting a new business and need to inform customers about the services you provide, is taking donations for a charity your aim or do you want to publish a blog? Often a website needs to incorporate several of these aspects but putting thought into what you want your website to achieve before going forward with the design process is vital.

3. How do you want to manage your site once its complete?

When your website is finished and live it will still need managing and updating. This updates I spoke about before will need implementing, new content will need adding as your project evolves or company grows, blog posts will need publishing and things may need editing from time to time, not to mention running regular backups in case something goes wrong down the line.

How these things are taken care of is a decision you need to make going into the project. Do you want to take full control of your website yourself, running updates, uploading and publishing new content and maintaining your site on a schedule that can range from daily to monthly? It can be a daunting but rewarding task and is worth considering.
Alternatively, you can take advantage of an ongoing maintenance package I offer where I can take care of some or all of these important tasks. I can run updates, backups and even optimise your WordPress site on a daily or weekly schedule as well as run backups while providing you with monthly reports about the actions taken. I can also be the one to publish new content to your site on your behalf if you want a truly hands-off approach to your site.

Knowing which of these options you want to use, I can build the site accordingly. After years of working with WordPress, I can take advantage of the platform in ways someone new to the process might be daunted by, if a fully managed site run by me is your aim, then I can build the site accordingly. If you wish to run the site yourself then I can tailor it to your level of knowledge and cut out a lot of the complexity.

Knowing which is necessary, in advance, is important and something you need to consider.

4. Quote

Many people are keen to get a firm idea of cost from the outset but before I can give you that firm idea I would need to get a clear picture of the work involved. The information about what you want your website to achieve along with some further questions will be what I base my quote on. Every website is unique and so is each quote.
Once I have given you a quote and it has been accepted, I will require a deposit before I begin work, the remainder of the quote will be payable after the website is complete, upon receipt of which I will send your site live.

i

5. What I need from you

When I begin building your website there are several elements that I will require. Getting all these in place in advance will make things vastly simpler for you and me as well as cut down on revisions later on. Before we start I will need;
• Your Logo (Photoshop PSD, EPS, high-resolution PNG or JPG)
• Hosting Login (if you have a hosting account already)
• Current Website Login (if currently a WordPress site)
• Any new text for each page thoroughly checked for spelling/grammatical errors
• Images or any new pictures you’d like to use for the new site
• Any Multimedia files such as videos/audio that needs to be added to the site
• The brand style guide, colours or any special graphics being used

6. Dropbox Shared Folder

Using email to send files back and forth can take a lot of time, fill up inboxes in no time and get confusing as its hard to keep track of where files are. To combat this I find it is very helpful to set up a shared folder on Dropbox.
Dropbox, if you haven’t encountered it before is a free cloud storage platform which offers 2GB of storage for users, with premium plans available for those who require more storage. It allows users to set up shared folders which would allow us to share files and website elements. This makes it much simpler to keep things organised. When we begin the process of designing your website I will invite you to join a shared folder with a clear structure so you know what files to add to it.

7. Development Process

First of all, if you don’t have a website already, I will set up a holding page so people know you have a site coming soon. Once that is in place I will begin working on the new site in the background so the general public can’t see things while they take shape. I will be building a bespoke theme for use just by you based on your needs.
The design and build process will take two initial stages,
STEP 1 – LAYOUT AND DESIGN
A large and time-consuming part of website design is in the layout, structure and design of the site. I’ll create the framework of the website and will send the homepage and a sub-page (or more upon request) for approval.
STEP 2 – DEVELOPMENT
Once the site layout and design are approved, I’ll move forward with the designing of all pages, functionality and responsive code, making sure your site looks great and functions nicely across all devices and web browsers.

8. Revisions and Edits

After I have designed and built your website and all the content is added you will be invited to look through every page from corner to corner, to go over it with a fine-tooth comb and request any edits you would like.
to avoid the revision process going on for an extended period of time and delaying the launch of your website to the public it is important to make sure that all requested edits are communicated together so I can work through the list, long or short efficiently.
Once I have made the requested edits the revision process will end and further edits or revisions will be charged for in addition to the original quote. While this may seem somewhat harsh it is to avoid me having to rebuild page after page. You may or may not be surprised to hear that without such a stipulation it is very common for a designer to effectively build a website 3 or 4 times over, quadrupling his or her work while only being paid to build one website. That is why I try and make it as clear as possible that all edits and revisions must be communicated together and I hope you understand why I have to be strict on this.

9 . Going Live

Here is the exciting bit! Your website has been completed, you have signed off on the process and things are ready to go live.
Wow, here we are, so what happens now?
Once the remainder of the design fee has been paid, any unnecessary plugins and pages will be removed from the site and a final backup will be made and saved locally in case if we ever need to restore the site.
Next, I will set you up a user account for the new website so you can access the admin side of the site and if you have chosen to, publish new content and apply updates.
Finally, I will remove the holding page and send your site live to the world.
And that’s it!

Questions

Of course, you are likely to still have some questions, I could write a whole novel on what to expect through this process and there will still be questions about how your particular project fits into the steps above so I encourage you to get in touch and we can discuss anything and everything and see if we are a good fit for working together.

Web Hosting